RSPCA highlights Kali's rescue from East Herts hell for Dog Fighting Awareness Day
The RSPCA is highlighting the fairytale ending for a Staffordshire bull terrier used for illegal fighting in East Herts in its campaign for a Dog Fighting Awareness Day.
Kali was found cowering in a garden in the village of Aspenden, near Buntingford, in March 2017. She was covered in open wounds, bloody bite marks and scars.
After she was rescued, RSPCA officers traced her owner – who was later convicted of animal welfare offences – and she was taken into care for treatment and rehabilitation.
Georgina Arnold and boyfriend Owen Gray, from Yaxley in Cambridgeshire, read about Kali’s story and fell in love.
“She has scars and is missing teeth, so she's been through a lot," said Georgina.
"But she's so kind. She's like a teddy bear – there’s not a bad bone in her body.
"I’m just glad that she’s safe now and she’ll never have to know fear or cruelty again.”
Some 7,915 reports of dog-fighting incidents have been reported in England and Wales in the past four years, figures from the RSPCA reveal. Essex was identified as a hotspot with 257 cases while there were 115 in Herts in the same period.
The animal welfare charity believes Dog Fighting Awareness Day – an American event which was marked on Monday April 8 – should be extended to the UK because dog fighting is still “rife”. The barbaric activity was outlawed in England in 1835.
Special operations unit (SOU) chief inspector Mike Butcher said: “While it’s promising to see that these figures [of dog-fighting incidents] are dropping year on year, it’s still staggering that something which has been illegal for almost 200 years and a bloody pastime which most people would consider consigned to history is still so rife."
He added: “It’s incredible that Kali has recovered from her awful ordeal and gone on to a loving new home where she’ll be safe and cared for.
"Sadly, the reality is that for many dogs, this will never happen. Dogs who win fights are prized and are often treated like kings. But those who refuse to fight or lose are often abandoned or barbarically killed.
“The dog-fighting world is a dark and frightening place. But it could be happening in an inner-city warehouse next door to your office or on a rural farm in your quiet village.
“We’d urge the public to be our eyes and ears and report anything suspicious to us to investigate."
Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal or who suspects dog fighting may be taking place can call the RSPCA's 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.